Hospice is an approach to care for people experiencing a life-limiting illness. It offers comprehensive services that address the physical, spiritual, social and emotional needs and preferences of the patient and family. Hospice affirms life and emphasizes quality rather than quantity of life.
Abode provides the highest quality of health care within the home, allowing our patients and their families to remain in a familiar and comfortable environment. Whether the focus is rehabilitation, recovery from acute illness, chronic disease management, or end of life care, Abode's thoughtful and highly-skilled professionals deliver appropriate, carefully-planned, and personalized services at home.
Our mission is simple. We treat others the way we want to be treated. We do the right thing, always, even when no one is looking. You can relax knowing an ethical team of experts is caring for your loved one.
- of Abode employees say they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day.
- of our patients recommend us to others.
- of our patients and family rate our care as excellent.
Pancreatic Cancer Awareness for Hospice
Pancreatic Cancer Awareness for Hospice By: Dr. Margarita David Ph.D., RN Pancreatic cancer affects over 60,000 people in the United States. Continue reading to learn more about pancreatic cancer in honor of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. What is pancreatic cancer? Pancreatic cancer is a cancer that develops in the pancreas. The pancreas helps regulate the metabolism of sugar and aids in the digestion of foods. What causes pancreatic cancer? Although the exact cause of pancreatic cancer is still unknown, some risk factors that may contribute to the development of pancreatic cancer include: Smoking Diabetes Obesity Repeated inflammation of the pancreas (chronic pancreatitis) Physical symptoms of pancreatic cancer Many of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer are also common with other types of cancers. These may include: Abdominal pain Loss of appetite Unintended weight loss Jaundice Discolored stools Dark urine Dermatitis Bloating How is pancreatic cancer diagnosed? There are several ways that pancreatic cancer is diagnosed: Blood tests Three blood tests can help diagnose and treat pancreatic cancer: Liver function test. Measures the amount of bilirubin in the blood. If high this may indicate a tumor is blocking the bile duct. Carcinoembryonic antigen. Elevated levels in the blood are found in patients with cancers of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract. CA 19-9. Individuals with pancreatic cancer often have an elevation of this protein in their blood. Biopsy If blood work and imaging indicate the possibility of having pancreatic cancer, a biopsy (a tissue sample from the pancreas) is taken to confirm the diagnosis. A biopsy is the gold standard for a definitive pancreatic cancer diagnosis. How does hospice help pancreatic cancer patients Pancreatic cancer can be extremely painful, making your quality of life more difficult toward the end of life. Hospice care allows people to live their final stages in peace by providing: Comfort for end of life The end of life can be a very stressful, uncomfortable, and anxiety-provoking time. A hospice team can help provide the comfort the patient needs physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Spiritual guidance Hospice care takes care of you physically and emotionally during the end of life. The team consists of a social worker and chaplain who will work with you and your family to ensure your spiritual needs are met. Hospice provides compassionate care that is supportive of both the patient and their families through the end of life and throughout the grieving process. Helps with family and loved ones Caring for sick loved ones can be an exhausting endeavor, which is why hospice care takes over your care so that your family gets a much-needed break. Your hospice team can also coordinate respite periods for your caregiver. If you’d like to learn more about hospice care for pancreatic patients, please contact us.
Tips for Navigating Grief This Holiday Season
Tips for Navigating Grief This Holiday Season The holiday season is here, and what is a time of joy and togetherness for most can be a time full of sadness and grief for others. The holidays are meant to be spent with those we love, so how can you be expected to feel like celebrating when someone you love is no longer there to celebrate with you? If you are missing a loved one this holiday season, here are some tips to help you take a step back from the grief and survive the holidays. Tip One: Be prepared for grief triggers. Let’s be honest, they are everywhere during the holidays. Preparing for these triggers and having a plan for coping with them can sometimes make the triggers more manageable as you encounter them. Tip Two: It’s okay to take a break from togetherness. Plan to get some space from the holiday chaos if you need it. Being surrounded by family and friends is great, but all at once can be emotionally overwhelming and hard to overcome. Don’t feel guilty about your grief. It is important to be conscious of your limits and take some time to recollect yourself. Tip Three: Seek gratitude. The holidays are a time to gather together, eat good food, and share what we’re thankful for. If you’ve recently lost a loved one, it can be hard to feel thankful when you are grieving. Although you may be focusing on the loss, try to remember the good things that relationship brought into your life. Search for that gratitude. Tip Four: Decide which traditions you want to change or keep. Acknowledge that things will be different this year. Some holiday traditions will remind you of your lost loved one, but it is okay to limit which of these you allow yourself to remember or not. Take time to prepare for which traditions will make you happy and which will overwhelm you. Tip Five: Say yes to help. Although you may normally be the one to host during the holidays, this year may be too much to take on alone after losing your loved one. Accept help when it’s offered. Remember that there is no shame in saying yes. Those who love you want to help. Feel Joy Through the Grief The holidays can be hard for those who have recently lost a loved one. Grief can be especially unavoidable during these times, but it is important to remember that you can still feel joy through the grief. Taking these tips into account can help you prepare for that grief and make your holidays more enjoyable.
Celebrating Caregivers In 2020, an estimated 41.8 million adults in the United States were caregivers of someone 50 years of age or older. That’s one in six Americans. In honor of National Family Caregivers Month, we want to take the opportunity to applaud all these caregivers for all they do for those they love. Dear Caregiver, You work round the clock to care for someone you love. Maybe it’s a parent. Maybe it’s a spouse or partner. No matter who it is, you are committed to doing the best you can for them because you love them. And because you know they would do the same for you. But it’s not easy. We know that. So, we want you to take a minute to yourself right now to read this. Because this is for YOU. Caregiving Isn’t Easy You have taken on the responsibility of being the primary caregiver for a loved one who is ill. That’s no small task. You are there for them at all hours of the day and night- whenever they may need you. Being a caregiver can be stressful on its own, but many of you are not only a caregiver. Whether you have a full or part-time job, volunteer, have children to care for, or anything in between – you have other responsibilities also. Juggling all those responsibilities can be overwhelming at times, and with all these things to take care of, you don’t often have time to stop to take care of yourself. Find a Good Support System You don’t have to do it all on your own. Lean on friends and family for help and support. When it starts to feel like it’s too much, call a friend or loved one. Ask them for help or just to talk or listen. A strong support system is essential. Maybe you feel like your friends and family don’t understand what you’re going through, and you want to talk to someone who has a similar situation. There are support groups available for caregivers. Through these, you can meet others who have similar situations as you. You can share stories with them or share tips with one another. At the end of the day, having someone you can lean on is so important. Remember to Take Time for You With everything you need to get done in a day, we understand that it can be easy to neglect yourself and your own needs. However, it’s incredibly important that you take time for yourself. Do your best to carve out time to do something you enjoy. Do something that is for you and no one else. It’s not selfish. You NEED to do it. It’s important to be able to take some time to do something that helps you decompress. Go for a walk. Read a book. Listen to a podcast. Whatever helps you unwind after a long day- do it! You need this opportunity to recharge so you can be at your best. Show Yourself Some Grace We understand it can feel overwhelming at times, but we want you to know you are doing great! You aren’t going to be at 110% every day. You may have an ‘off day,’ and that’s okay. We all have them. Just remember to show yourself some grace. You have taken on a huge role, and it’s not easy. You won’t be perfect – no one is. But each day, you rise to the challenge and do what you need to do to be there for your loved one. That’s what matters. Don’t give up. And don’t ever doubt yourself. You are amazing! Yours truly, Abode Healthcare
COPD Hospice Referral Guidelines
COPD Awareness Month: Hospice Referral Guidelines By: Laura Mantine, MD Chronic lung disease is the 4th most common cause of death among older adults in the United States. More than 3 million people worldwide died of COPD in 2015, representing 6% of all deaths that year. People dying from COPD frequently experience difficult and uncomfortable symptoms that lead to distress and panic. They commonly have disabling respiratory symptoms including severe breathlessness, limited tolerance for activity, and intractable coughing. They are also usually oxygen dependent, often experience anorexia with weight loss, cachexia, and ultimately become dependent on others for their activities of daily living. COPD and Hospice Care Despite the symptomatic needs of individuals dying from end-stage COPD, only 30% of individuals receive hospice care before death. It is not clear why the rate of hospice use for patients with COPD is so low, but several explanations have been offered. The most important may be that few patients with severe COPD have discussed end-of-life planning with their clinician. Furthermore, many patients and clinicians do not view COPD as a terminal illness and feel it is more chronic in nature. Also, there may be a lack of awareness that patients enrolled in hospice can continue to receive treatments for COPD. Due to the fluctuating course of COPD, it is often difficult to accurately estimate a patient’s life expectancy which may contribute to low hospice utilization rates. Hospice Eligibility Guidelines for COPD While end-of-life-care is an appropriate topic to discuss with all patients, several factors have been suggested that should prompt a discussion with patients who have severe COPD. One factor is simply that a clinician would not be surprised if a patient with COPD were to die within the next 6-12 months. A clinician should consider hospice referral in a patient with COPD if they are dyspneic at rest or with minimal exertion, have progressed to the point where they spend most of their days at home, have experienced repeated ED visits (one or more each quarter) due to infection or episodes of respiratory failure, have endured repeated hospitalizations (one or more each quarter) and no longer wish to be admitted and the patient no longer wishes to be intubated. The major hospice eligibility guidelines for COPD are: dyspnea at rest and/or with minimal exertion while on oxygen therapy dyspnea unresponsive or poorly responsive to bronchodilator therapy progression of chronic pulmonary disease as evidenced by frequent use of medical services frequent episodes of bronchitis or pneumonia unintentional weight loss of ≥ 10% body weight over the preceding six months progressive inability to independently perform various activities of daily living (ADLs) There are other important clinical factors that also may support a patient’s hospice eligibility. These are: cor pulmonale need for continuous oxygen therapy resting tachycardia > 100 beats/minute steroid-dependence cyanosis Abnormal laboratory findings may also trigger a hospice referral such as: FEV1 ≤ 30% predicted post-bronchodilator serial decreases in FEV1 of at least 40 ml/year over several years PO2 ≤ 55 on room air O2 sat. ≤ 88% on room air or persistent hypercarbia (PCO2) ≥ 50 mm HG While these laboratory studies may be helpful to the clinician when considering patient appropriateness for hospice services, they are not required for patient admission. How Hospice Can Help COPD Patients COPD is a significant health issue around the world. It is ultimately a fatal disease and patients are under-referred to hospice care. Hospice, with its strong interdisciplinary approach, has been shown to improve quality of life for patients with end-stage respiratory disorders like COPD. Please contact us if you have any questions about how our team can help COPD patients. References: Hospice Eligibility for Patients with COPD. Serena J. Scott, MD, Barry D. Weiss, MD, Ellyn Lee, MD, College of Medicine, University of Arizona. https://uofazcenteronaging.com. June 2017. When to refer patients with advanced COPD to palliative care services. Rebecca Strutt. Breathe (Sheff). 2020 Sep; 16(3): 200061. Referral to palliative care in COPD and other chronic diseases: A population-based study. Kim Beernaert; Joachim Cohen; Luc Deliens; Dirk Devroey; Katrien Vanthomme; Koen Pardon; Lieve Van den Block. Respiratory Medicine. Volume 107. Issue 11, P1731-1739. November 1, 2013.